We have been busy attending to the various paperworks and appointments that come with immigrating, and especially immigrating to Germany. This paper must be obtained before this paper, but that cannot be had without doing this. It amounts to a few wasted appointments, come back when you have this and whatnot.
The easiest, surprisingly, was health insurance. This is especially good news considering the killer ear infection Ryan had, which thankfully seems to be ebbing. We went to their offices, a lady filled out our application for us in English, and our coverage is retroactive to the date Ryan started working, so his previous doctor visits are covered. Our deductible is 10 euros a quarter and we don't have to pay out of pocket for prescriptions. Socialized medicine anyone?
The health insurance people even gave us a free booklet about moving to Germany, which is obvious in many ways and in other ways helpful. I feel really embarrassed if an English-speaker moves to Germany without knowing how to say "Guten Tag" (page 93). Other parts do offer good insight into the political system and other mysterious areas.
But the best part is the holidays section. Firstly, leaving Bavaria means a serious reduction in holidays. Damn Protestants. But as Berliners we can look forward to riots and protests on the May 1st Worker's Holiday! Oh well, at least this section made me laugh:
"Mother's Day: Mother's Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May. Mothers are given flowers and presents by their children.
Father's Day: Ascension Day is also known as 'Vatertag' or 'Herrentag' in German. Unlike Mother's Day gifts are not normally given. Many adult men drive through the streets and woods in carts, drinking alcohol."
I guess that's how they celebrate? They need to let off steam from the stress of raising children, and as Germans, the stress of filling out all the paperwork that comes with each change in life's circumstances? Once Ryan and I are fully immigrated, I'm sure we will drink. I'll have to consider the cart, though.
P.S. went to dinner with some folks from the American Church of Berlin last night and asked a German fellow about this Father's Day tradition. He said his brother is expecting his first child next summer, but has "celebrated" Father's Day for the last 3 years, and has a wooden cart in his garage.